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Ukraine: Obama Putin Skype call – latest

5 Mar

Roadwax’s very own Elena Handcart sends this report from her covert position in the passenger footwell of Mobile 6, parked on the double yellow lines outside Downing Street:

Obama: Hi

Putin: Privet

Obama: Yes, I got the NSA to check. Its all private.

Putin: I give up…

Obama: You do…? Oh, I am so glad…I er…I applaud your wise and er…

Putin: No…! My stupid friend…privet…is hello in Russian…privet means hello.

Obama: Oh…privet…that sounds like…

Putin: I not have time for this. Where is Merkel…?

Obama: Merkel…? I thought it was just going to be you and me, Vlad…

Merkel: Hi…

Obama: Angela…! What a pleasant surprise…! Vlad and I were just wondering…

Putin: Be quiet, Barack. I’m paying for this call so you listen.

Obama: Oh, now…there’s no need to be like that…

Putin: Cameron…! David Cameron…!

(silence)

Putin: Angela…you have something you wish to say…?

(silence)

Putin: Do not make that face with me, Angela…

(silence, short sniffing sound)

Obama: Angela…don’t let him bully you…he always sounds really angry but…

Merkel: Barack, please will you not talk?

(sound of Putin laughing)

Putin: There…! She is like lioness…! Angela is strong woman, Barack, like Michelle…!

Obama: I think it is time that you stop all this playground nonsense, Putin…it’s getting boring…

Putin: Barack, Angela has something she wants to say…yes, Angela…?

Cameron: …and another bottle of 2009 Dom Perignon…and some pain-killers, okay…?

Putin: Cameron, be quiet you idiot.

Cameron: Goodness…! Didn’t realise we were switched on…well, well…

Obama: Dave, shut up.

Cameron: Absolutely. Sorry.

Putin: Say the words, Angela…

Obama: I shall not stand by idly while Russia…

Putin: Yes you will. Shut up…! Angela…say the words…!

(sigh)

Merkel: I, Angela Merkel, wish to thank Mr Putin for providing my country with 30% of its gas needs.

Putin: There…! That is good, brave woman…like Russian woman…! You hear that, Obama…?

Obama: Aw…c’mon, you know you forced her to say that…

Putin: Angela…Angela…tell my stupid friend…

Merkel: I, Angela Merkel wish to deny the vicious capitalist slur that I have been forced to say this.

Putin: Obama…see…? I give you another lesson in diplomacy, yes…?

Obama: Hardly…

Cameron: Oh, great batting, Barack…! Top man…!

Obama: Shut the fuck up.

Cameron: Right. Sorry…

Putin: Cameron…

(silence)

Putin: Cameron…Angela is good East European woman. Do you understand…?

Cameron: Not really. She wasn’t slow in voting with her feet and jumping over the wall, was she…?

Merkel: David, what car do you drive…?

Cameron: BMW…and very good it is, too…

Merkel: Exactly…so please, David, sit down before you try and think. I don’t want you to hurt yourself.

Cameron: Well I think that’s rather rude if you don’t mind me saying…

Putin: I do. Do not speak anymore unless I call your name.

Obama: I suppose the Jaguar is with the mechanic…in Mumbai…

Cameron: Oh, you bloody turn-coat…! Well, I’m not licking Putin’s arse. You go ahead…

Merkel: Stop talking, you imbecile…!

Obama: Cameron, you are out of your league…shut up and listen…

Putin: There…my stupid friend is telling you good advice, Cameron…listen…

Cameron: Fine…

Putin: Now…Obama, I want you to get Kerry to wear a dress in public tomorrow….and make-up…

(sound of Cameron laughing)

Merkel: What is so funny about wearing a dress, Cameron…?

(silence)

Putin: Cameron…answer Frau Merkel..

Cameron: …oh, really…this is ridiculous Vladimir…I mean, come on…

Obama: Goin’ in…! (laughs)

Putin: Cameron…you have many Russian tax exiles in London, yes…?

Cameron: Bloody right! Jobs a good ‘un…! Osborne has got a hard on like he’s on Viagra

Putin: Exactly…you have taken all the gangsters and all their money out of my country…yes…?

Cameron: Nearly all…still got room for a few thousand more and we’re working on that…

(sound of champagne cork popping)

Merkel: You brain-dead moron…

Putin: Shushh, Angela…let me handle this…

Obama: Blue leader down…blue leader down…

Putin: Cameron, listen…are you listening…?

Cameron: …(burp)…yes…

Putin: I want you to keep shouting your big mouth off about how bad I am…yes…?

Cameron: …absley fine by me…shoo…siuuu…shoots me fine… (hiccup)

Merkel: What a knob-cheese…

Obama: Angela…! I’m surprised by you…! Did you really say that…?

Putin: Obama…my idiot friend…take a lesson from Angela, yes…?

Obama: Okay…but I’m not doing that thing with Kerry. That is demeaning…

Putin: Obama, I want you to put lots of American war films on American TV…understand…?

Obama: Don’t quite get it but…fine with me…

Cameron: …jushhh another norm…normal day in ‘merica…total bollocks….

Putin: Shut up.

Cameron: …shorry…mmm…

Merkel: I have to go now. I have my people to think of…

Putin: All of you. You tell me one thing. Like British actor, Ray Winstone…

Cameron: …shafuckin’ goo bloke…is Ray…fuckin’ lovely…good bloke….

Putin: All of you…tell me…Who is the daddy now…?

Obama: What…?

Merkel: Its a BritGrit prison film from 1979. Just say: “you are, Putin”.

Obama: Oh…well…right…you are, Putin…

Merkel: You are, Putin…

Cameron: whooozadaddy nowwww….eh…? Fuckin’ brillian’ line….I’ve taken too many pilshhh…

Putin: Cameron…

Cameron: Yeshhh…?

Putin: Stick fingers down your throat. Make you sick. You feel better soon.

Obama: Total lightweight…eh, Angela…? What a noob…

Merkel: Don’t pretend I am your friend…I have not forgotten NSA…

Putin: I am the daddy….I am the daddy now…!

(line disconnects)

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Honey, would you park up my P-51D Mustang and help me with the shopping…?

25 May

Ikea, here we come…!

Summer has arrived and Roadwax wants to feed you with a funny little anecdote that is both utterly stupid and completely true. You won’t easily believe this story, but there is an awful lot of written evidence that supports it.

First, I must transport you back to 1945 and England, Europe. To help you get into the atmosphere of those times, I suggest that before you continue reading, you complete the following simple tasks so that you get into the mood for what follows.

Firstly, take everything out of your refrigerator and let it warm up on the kitchen table. Cover yourself in subway dust and comb low-fat spread through your hair. Rub a mixture of cheese and brown paint over your teeth and put the kettle on for a nice cup of tea…

Now, we can begin.

The war against Hitler had just ended. Germany and England lay in smoking ruins and France looked like it had accidentally posted it’s home address on Facebook and invited everyone round for a free Jack Daniels tasting session.

Without wasting a moment of time, English town planners sat around a big mahogany table and came up with ideas for how England would rebuild itself. This was not very difficult to start off, since almost everyone had been issued with a pair of Army boots and there were also an awful lot of half-bricks lying around.

A plan to build this “New England” emerged pretty quickly. All the obvious and sensible stuff was done first. A free National Health Service was set up to stop the working population from lynching the ruling elite. The State School system was encouraged to educate children with the skills needed for industry rather than simply beating them to within an inch of their lives for forgetting the second verse of that hit song: “God Save The King”.

But then it started to get wacky and kooky. Possibly because there was too much sugar in the biscuits during afternoon tea, the ideas began to reflect some pretty startling visions of a future world of mass high-speed travel.

It was decided that each major town in England should set aside space for a Municipal Aerodrome and prepare to welcome society arriving from the air.

Why?

Because the war had resulted in fantastic advances in flight, aeronautical technology and manufacturing techniques!

So what?

Well, if you remove the eight Browning machine guns from a Hawker Hurricane, you get a rather dashing little conveyance for the weekend! The Spitfire is ideal for visiting the seaside once you nail another seat inside. The American P-51D is a “must-have” toy for the Gentleman Sportsman or weekend enthusiast.

But…we already have cars to drive in…! Isn’t this a bit excessive?

Not at all. In the “New England”, men in pin-stripe suits and bowler hats will be so busy making important decisions that they shall need to rush from meeting to meeting, unhindered by the common man in his 1933 12 BHP Austin. Each town shall build an aerodrome, right next to the shops and the golf course!

Are you sure about this?

Absolutely! And stand up straight when you salute me…and straighten your tie!

(And so it was that throughout England, the Town Plans that were drawn up in the period 1944-1946 show provision for “municipal aerodromes” – built to cater for the many light aircraft that the many English middle class shakers and movers would soon own and fly. Provision was made for what would become, without doubt, the fast-moving new world where society’s decision-makers would transport themselves in one of these new, easily-affordable light aeroplanes as a matter of daily routine).

Once the town planners across England had set aside the necessary fields and used their best wooden rulers to draw a runway and a   small car park where chauffeurs could polish the Bentley and stand in deference, a strange thing happened.

Maybe it was because the Automobile Association of Great Britain pointed out that they already spent far too much of their time  pouring gasoline into the tanks of stranded cars whose owners were too dumb to read a map or understand a simple fuel gauge…

Maybe it was because the Police pointed to the number of dented or missing railings and lamp posts on the road that led away from the local golf course club-house…

Maybe it was because it was remembered how, during the war, many bombers had taken off and then crashed within the first minute because their pilots had been so drunk that they were incapable of standing, let alone focusing on an instrument panel…

…but it was decided to quietly drop these plans.

Our “Brave New World” would be a much safer one if we pin-heads were instead firmly anchored to the ground with four rubber tyres and given a shiny chrome grille where the propeller would otherwise be. As a compromise, American cars were given tail-fins.  British cars were given tail-feathers.

And nothing more was said about this brilliant idea to allow everyone to just hop in a plane and fly to the shops in the next town. Those among us who actually had the intellect and reaction speed to fly an aircraft were sold a Cessna or a Beachcraft Bonanza. The rest of us would learn to say the words “Business Class” and “check-in queue”. The town planners erased all their pencil lines and the ‘aerodromes’ were no more.

But many of the original plans are still there on the dusty shelves of local councils and occasionally can be found hiding in old book shops.

Testimony to a brief moment in society’s evolution where, in an act of delightfully misjudged lunacy, we were all to be offered our own pair of wings.

Car Auctions: Nightclubs for the over 25s…?

6 Mar

Right. Let’s get down to business.

The first time you had sex with someone who wasn’t actually you, three things happened:

1) You couldn’t compare the sensation to anything else that you had previously experienced.

2) You got a strange look from the person you were doing it with, somewhere towards the end.

3) You suddenly realised why some people did it for a living.

Okay, Now you are a little older, you should try buying at a car auction. Its pretty much the same deal.

Regardless of gender, when you are feeling too old to be going to a nightclub, you are just becoming old enough to enter the world of car auctions. Just like some weird deleted scene from Benjamin Button, as you become too old to spill a Smirnoff Ice while drooling at someone on the dance floor, you come of age to enter a far more exciting world of sober intrigue and expensive nods.

Car auctions are not for everyone. They can be like getting off with a complete stranger and then waking up the next morning to find you have no credit card. Or, they can make you happy for the rest of your life. You can save $5,000 easily at a car auction while having fun at the same time. You can’t do that at a nightclub.

Thousands of one, two and three year old cars are sold each day by Auction Houses. Just one auction I visit regularly can crank the ‘hammer’ speed up to one car sold every fifteen seconds. Most of the second hand cars that you see on a dealer forecourt have been through these auctions. The dealer adds about 30% to the price and sticks them out front, sometimes without even needing to polish the door handles.

The truly massive over-production of new cars in the West is threatening near-catastrophic melt-down of our economies. This is no over-exaggeration. Western Europe relies heavily on new car manufacture to employ it’s workers. As an extreme example, Spain’s demand for new cars has dropped by an estimated 55% since 2007. European manufacturers are over-producing new cars by a rate of 20% per year. Jobs are going to be lost. Presidents and Prime Ministers are looking pasty and grey. Insomnia is the new ‘black’. As new car prices drop, nearly-new car prices drop more. Especially at auctions.

The latest Roadwax “Western Leader Poll” results are in. All western leaders were asked the same three questions by Roadwax, their premier trusted source of internet motoring groove.

Q 1) “As a Western Leader, did you get out of bed at 3.20am last Wednesday and see if there was anything in the fridge worth finishing off?”

Q 2) “Did you eventually decide instead to neck all the whiskey from the cupboard and cancel your first meeting?”

Q 3) “Even though all of you are millionaires, do you ever fancy sneaking off and going down the car auction?”

All Western Leaders have now returned their answers to me. Putin replied twice, but he doesn’t actually count on this one. Sorry, Vlad. Yes, I know you hate being called Vlad.

Just like Roadwax showed you in four easy parts how to find a good car to have a crash in, Roadwax is now going to show you how to understand car auctions and save between £500 and £50,000 from your hard earned cash.

General Motors Found Mumbling To Itself On Night Bus To Penge

4 Mar

The household name and multinational giant General Motors has been spotted on the 176 Night Bus from Trafalgar Square to Penge, South London, England.

Relatives of the American auto legend, once famous for world-first cars including the Chevrolet Bel-Air, Corvette, Camaro and the entire Cadillac range and also many other outstanding automotive classics, have been informed.

G.M.’s confused and highly agitated state initially aroused the suspicions of fellow Night Bus passengers when he stood up, wrapped roasting foil around the top of his head and screamed: “…I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me…?” as the bus approached Waterloo Station.

Emma Thong, 18, a stylist from Croydon said: “At first, I was quite shocked, but G.M. suddenly burst into tears and sat down again so I let it go. It is not something you expect from a multinational conglomerate but I didn’t want to get involved.”.

General Motors left a note last week with a next-door neighbour, saying that he had met a French woman on the internet and was going away for a while.

“G.M. often did that sort of thing.” neighbour Jack Daniels said yesterday.   “He shacked up with some Isuzu woman in Japan for a while but things never really went as planned. Heart wasn’t in it. Got involved with a Korean called Daewoo and kept telling everybody she was the real thing but I guess loneliness makes you blind to what’s really going on.”

Amrit Dinesh, a 24-year-old Post Graduate medical student who was sitting on the bus next to G.M. said: “He used his finger to write the word ‘HEPL’ on the glass. When I explained that he had miss-spelled the word, he started crying and asked me if I knew how to design small cars. I gave him a tissue but he ate it and then began singing about how he wanted to be a country girl and having an old brown dog and a big front porch and keeping rabbits. It was sad.”

London Police were initially alerted by White House staff after G.M.’s rented Opel Corsa was found at Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris. Empty wine bottles were strewn across the interior and a love letter from the French car maker Peugeot was found on the driver’s seat. American Embassy staff were unable to make progress and called Scotland Yard.

Detective Inspector Brian Loadsworth from Scotland Yard issued this statement to reporters:

“At about 17.56pm yesterday, we were contacted by American Embassy officials in Paris who were extremely concerned that G.M. had possibly gone on an immense bender with a known French car-maker. They had intercepted evidence that General Motors had got absolutely trousered and signed some sort of agreement with the French car maker, formerly known as Peugeot. The officials stated that they were getting no help from the people of Paris, who were responding to their questions by merely shrugging their shoulders and saying something about George W. Bush. At 02.14 this morning, we received information from a trusted source that General Motors was possibly sitting upstairs on the Night Bus No. 176 to Penge”.

“Armed Police from the Tactical Support Group immediately surrounded the bus and, after a short but vicious struggle, neutralized the bus driver and took him into custody. Seven officers were injured when they were hit by a Ford Transit kebab van. Forty-six passengers who were on the bus have been charged with assault. One American business legend, aged about 100 years, was questioned by Police at the scene and then was released after being cautioned about his behaviour.”

When your Maybach gets old and can’t remember where it put it’s keys

19 Feb

I have a good friend called Alan who is a highly respected local gardener.  Most of his regular clients assumed that he came with the house when they originally bought it. Alan began bothering their worms from the moment that they first moved in and they would not dream of ever losing his services.

They always make sure that their cars are positioned such that Alan has room to park his ageing Peugeot exactly where he usually parks it and they always leave the keys to the garage where he expects them to be left. All bulbs and new plants are respectfully left on the coal bunker for Alan to judge if and where they are worthy of planting.

Decisions regarding the well-being of the wisteria over the south wall or the casting vote on how to encourage all the bees back from wherever it is they’ve buzzed off to are earnestly sought from Alan. His solemn opinion is then passed on to visiting close friends but never to the neighbours or the daughter-in-law.

Last Friday evening, Alan and I were at the bar in the local pub. We were debating whether sun-bed tanning causes people to show up more easily on CCTV cameras at night or whether instead the artificially-tanned were simply losing their ability to have street fights during daylight. Our failure to establish the exact truth moved us onward instead to a discussion on logic and reasoning.

I suggested to Alan that the reason he is so highly respected by his clients is actually only because he always turns up on time every week and he never ever buys any new tools. He agreed, pointing out that I likewise gain most of my customers by coming across as too stupid to be dishonest and too gullible to be a threat to them.

Which reminded Alan of a dilemma he is now facing with an elderly and valued customer. This reclusive and wealthy gentleman has turned his back on the outside world and now only engages in conversation with Alan and the housekeeper. Alan has been watching the situation develop and things recently came to a head in the walled garden.

The great old house is kept company on one side by a magnificent Victorian kitchen garden with high red brick walls that make a square around a quarter acre of vegetables, protecting them from a world that might have stolen them fifty years ago before the first supermarkets. There is an ornate wrought iron gate with fluted bars set in to a small arch leading out of  the wall to the lawns at the front. The wall that is next to the house mostly collapsed years ago and lies in the brambles where it fell, having taken the chicken coop with it when it went.

On Alan’s last visit, he arrived to find a small, neat pile of bricks had been stacked on the lawn beside the wrought iron gate. Entering in to the kitchen garden, Alan saw the old gentleman stepping softly in his ox-blood brogues between the Swiss Chard, stooped like a hunter, following an invisible prey. As Alan watched, a plump wood pigeon launched up from the ground ahead of its attacker, flapping  away to the trees. The old gentleman swore at it and, seeing Alan, hailed him and strode over with a reddened and animated face.

“Good! Now you’re here, we can make a start! Excellent!”

Alan asked what the old gentleman had in mind. He was rewarded with a look of bemused impatience.

“Didn’t you see the bricks I left you?” the old man pointed. “I want this old iron gate taken out and the arch in the wall bricked up. Plenty of bricks left over to do the job!”

Alan thought it wise to double check the instructions. he pointed out that it was a beautiful gateway and it was in itself a special feature of the garden. The old gentleman was ahead of Alan, waiting for him to finish before enthusiastically explaining what Alan had so clearly failed to see for himself.

“I’ve watched that bloody wood pigeon for months! He’s got fat on my seeds all year and I won’t have any more of it!”

Alan frowned and remained puzzled. This exasperated the old gentleman.

“For heaven’s sake, Alan! The gate! I’ve watched him! He gets inside here between the bars of that damned  gate…!”

Even Joan the landlady thought that was a brilliant story and asked us if we wanted some doubles with a pound off. It seemed like the right decision at the time and it reminded me of an equally knotty problem that my second cousin is trying to solve at the moment.

He designs car door locks mechanisms for some high-end car manufacturers. The brief is quite exciting, especially given the implications for their owners when these future cars will have been owned by them for a few years.

The idea is that the faster the car is driven, the tighter the locks will pull all the doors to the body frame. This will allow much greater rigidity and far advanced body-shell safety dynamics when the vehicle is at speed or else cornering hard.

The development team have had to add about forty extra wires to the car’s main loom. The locking circuits need to communicate with the car’s ECU and so extra chips and programming modules need to be deep-wired into many other programmed circuits to allow over-ride, emergency and unlocking and dead-locking systems to function as well.

I asked him how it was going. He said they’ve got it all to work perfectly, but to steer clear of buying a five year old one that’s done a few miles. Naturally, I asked him why. He replied that the only way they can get the system to work is by programming it so that if one of the fifty-odd extra locking system components fails, the car either automatically unlocks itself for safety, or, if it is switched off, it deadlocks itself down for security. The key will be programmed to prohibit the driver from starting  the vehicle.

Smart thinking.

© 2012 Loop Withers Roadwax.com

The importance of serving toast correctly

7 Feb

156toastprius

It is 06.47 on a Tuesday morning in Autumn. The timing is important to me. It means that I have two minutes to pull my car over to the side of the long driveway that leads to the hotel. Then, out of public view, I can make sure that the side doors where the passengers will get in are still clean.

The rest of the car can wait. This Toyota Prius was hand washed only fifty miles ago but it already has a fine mist of damp cow dung and clay stuck to it from the last three miles of country road. Sometimes, this damned Prius gets washed twice a day. This is England. England is green and pleasant because it rains a lot.

There  is a finger mark on the back door handle so I polish it away with a tissue, get back in and select ‘Drive’. Six minutes to seven. I have been on the hotel’s CCTV since I turned in from the main road so now the receptionist will be telling the doorman that I am approaching. She likes the chauffeurs who pull over and check their car before advancing into her domain.

As I glide out from beneath the blue misty gloom of the trees that line the drive, the great house appears, lit silver and brass by the dawn sun. Its solid  lines dominate the cow draped pastures before it and one knows without doubt that this is how it was intended to be first seen by its visitors. The finest stone and brick faces outwards, protecting the whitest bedsheets and towels from those who have no business within.

The digital clock on my dash changes to 06.55 as I coast the last fifty metres on electric power towards the giant front door where a valet stands, staring intently towards me. On the raked circle of gravel ahead of me, a silver Mercedes S-Class is loading. Its passengers wait while the driver rushes to open the rear doors and let them inside. I brake to a halt early and flash my dipped headlights at the doorman. He raises one finger in acknowledgement from his white gloved hand to bid me to stop and wait. He brushes his electric blue waistcoat and turns to look to the valet who stands at the top of the great stone steps at the front of the house.

I recognise the driver of the Mercedes. His name is Eric. Eric used to be in business with my boss. Now, he is not. I can guess why. Eric is snatching the cases from the pea-shingle drive and stacking them in the back. He shuts the tailgate and strides round to get in behind the wheel. I can see his passengers settling in the back seat and then Eric is rolling, hard right lock, his headlights reflecting off the low stone wall that make his turn so tight.

The gardener stands with his rake and watches in case Eric’s turn requires the grains of pea shingle to be restored. I take my foot off the brake and roll forward to the Portland stone doorway. The doorman now looks to me, pointing downwards with his finger to exactly where he wishes me to position myself  beside his perfect shoes. I catch a glimpse of Eric’s intense and reddened face as he drives by. He glares ahead to the darkness of the beckoning trees.

I push the button and my window glass drops with a whir and the cold air creeps in. The doorman bows towards me and stares into my eyes. I set the parking brake with my foot.

“Having fun…?” I make a cheesy grin up towards him. His mouth is already forming his first words to me but he stops and straightens, looking back to the house. I can hear the valet’s voice. The doorman nods and then bows to me again. He speaks.

“No, I am not. Go round again. We are all out of sequence now…” The frustration in his voice makes me click the handbrake off without delay but his gloved hands still hold on to my door so I keep my foot on the brake.

“Give way to the black BMW that is just arriving, come in back here as soon as he goes, yes…?”

“Yes.” I make to move away but he still keeps his hands on my door. I look back at him. He is staring after Eric’s Merc. He speaks softly.

“That couple…” He struggles for words. “…they got drunk last night and then cancelled Eric’s car. Then, this morning they start screaming at us, asking where he is. They couldn’t remember a thing. Eric only just raced back from Heathrow now. They only had to wait half an hour but…my god…they made sure that everybody knew!”  He stares at me.

“Now…” he continues,  “…I have a gentleman who ordered that BMW for seven fifteen and then changed it to seven…then I do you…”

“What about my seven o’clock…?” I ask.

“She’s just enjoying her toast.” He makes a cheesy grin back to me and he winks. He drops his gloved hands from my door and gives me a dry smile. “Go, go, go…”

A black BMW 740 is approaching fast in my mirror and I glide out of  its path, swinging right lock as it stops on the gravel where I waited a second before. The doorman bows forward to the driver and speaks with him. I drive off and turn again in the staff car park. I wonder how long it takes to eat toast and if I can get a little more door cleaning fitted in.

A warning light in my head tells me not to stop and I swing back into the arrival point for the second time. It is just as well that I do because the black BMW 740 is just pulling away with the  gentleman  inside. The doorman stands, pointing to the ground by his feet, giving me a stiff nod. I coast up and stop a second time.

“Here she comes. One suitcase. Get the door for her and I’ll load you.”

I leap out as he strides to the tailgate. The great hotel facade reflects in the gloss black paintwork of my car. There is a patch of manure and straw stuck on the freshly waxed rear tyre. I scoot around the car and I pull my new passenger’s door open and she gets in without breaking her step or acknowledging me.

The doorman helps the valet who is struggling to fit her huge suitcase in over the lip of the tailgate. I close her door and I pull the boot lid down. A white Range Rover appears behind us and stops short, waiting for me to leave. Two slim businessmen are now standing in the hotel doorway, flanked by the valet and the doorman. They are holding identical carbon fiber briefcases and both wear a small enamel lapel badge, probably identifying their employer or the private society to whom they belong. They are glaring with disapproval towards me. I am in their way.

I pull full right lock and I am facing back to the long avenue of trees that line the drive. The Range Rover pulls up in my vacated space and the parking valet leaps out, holding the door for the two men who get in the front and slip sunglasses on in unison.

I greet my passenger.

“Good morning…!” I try to sound as welcoming as possible. ” Heathrow, terminal five..?”

I haven’t noticed that she has already got her earpieces in and is making calls on her Blackberry. She cradles it in her lap. Her crisp voice cuts across my last words.

“David, its me. Do Vogue America have our proposal on their desk…? Good…I’m in the car going to Heathrow now, so they only have forty minutes to speak to me…”

I curse myself in silence for my failure to spot the white wires that snake up the side of her neck into her blond hair. I push the car hard down the narrow drive. This will make it float better over the bumps and it will also show her that I am not wasting my time. The fallen leaves swirl behind us, sucked up by the car and left to tumble in wait for the Range Rover. I don’t want the two spooks in the Range Rover crowding my rear end at the junction.

Far ahead, a black Chrysler pulls over into the passing bay, flashing me to let me know that I have priority.

“Well…that is their problem, David. Make them sweat and I’ll call you when I am in the air…lousy…book me in somewhere else  next time David…dreadful….the toast was cold again…yes…I had to send it back twice, would you believe…?…I don’t care, David, anywhere that understands how to serve toast…”

I flash my headlights to the Chrysler as I pass him and I begin to brake for the cattle grid at the gate house.

She settles back in her seat and looks out of her window.

© 2012 and 2014 Loop Withers   Roadwax.com

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